Wellness Coach


St. Hildegard of Bingen [1098-1179] The Cosmic Tree

Early February is the traditional time for the celebration in the ancient world of a festival of the washing of earth’s face. The pangs of rebirth are beginning in the dark womb of winter at this halfway point towards the spring equinox. Time draws closer to prepare for another cycle and wash the sleep from my eyes.

Cloudy bone-chilling winter days continue, yet a moment of light illuminated the darkness last Saturday at the Benedictine Sisters’ Monastery in Cullman, Alabama where I attended a retreat ~ “St. Hildegard & the Living Light”. Hildegard lived over 900 years ago as a composer of music and a visionary leader. She studied plants and herbs for medicinal needs and believed that the “body was a plant and the doctor was the gardener”. Prophets “illuminate the darkness” Hildegard tells us.

Our retreat meeting space was filled with Hildegard’s artistic visions that she called “illuminations”. We were invited to create a mandala ~ images and symbols within the form of a circle ~ to express an illumination of “God as the living light” to rekindle our hearts.

After our drawing time, we propped our mandalas on our chairs, placed a small candle in front of our creations, and then walked in silence gazing at each one.

In the dimly lit room, the flickering candles illuminated our drawings in a warm community of souls that revealed our inner light shining in the dark of a winter’s night.

Wake up for the Light returns.

All living creatures are sparks from the radiance of God’s brilliance, and these sparks emerge from God like the rays of the sun.
St. Hildegard on the Cosmic Tree

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